The IT industry is responsible for about 2% of the world’s CO² emissions and nearly 40% of the world’s energy use is in buildings. While these statistics reveal that business is therefore a significant contributor to the deterioration of the environment, few companies are actually making eco-smart changes to the way they operate.
If you visit Adapt IT at their new offices in Rydall Vale Park, you will find yourself sitting inside a ‘green-friendly building’, on an environmentally-friendly chair, in a paperless office ...
Leading IT services and software company, Adapt IT is taking this global problem seriously by creating a truly ‘green’ home for its KwaZulu-Natal based head office building – through the efficient use of resources that are carefully designed to protect the occupants’ health and reduce waste, Adapt IT’s building is designed to be environmentally responsible throughout the structure’s life cycle.
The Group’s decision to ‘go green’ comes at just the right time in South Africa’s rapidly expanding IT market, this marking Adapt IT as a leader in ‘green’ IT innovation. And, while the building’s claim to fame lies in being ‘green’, the ethos that inspired occupation by Adapt IT runs throughout the philosophy and actions of this blue-chip organisation.
Adapt IT’s new home...
Built by JT Ross in collaboration with Jay + Nel Architects, the building incorporates functionality and efficiency into its ‘green-friendly’ design. Its ‘green’ aspects include:
- Large windows to draw sea views ‘into’ the building’s open plan office space;
- Open-plan spaces to encourage the use of shared resources and space;
- A canteen that accesses a protected patio surrounded by indigenous plants and designed using tactile materials such as wooden decking;
- The use of relatively low-maintenance materials which consider the building’s close proximity to the sea and resulting weather conditions;
- A basement lit naturally through slatted decking and contained by planted screens.
It’s a ‘green’ business...
Peter Hilditch, Adapt IT’s Business Unit Manager for Infrastructure and Networks, points out that thinking ‘green’ goes beyond the use of a particular building and is applicable to the processes, hardware, and systems used throughout the organisation. He comments, “From encouraging clients to install cooler, more efficient server rooms, to purchasing from vendors who have a ‘green’ agenda, to using equipment that is as energy-efficient as it is cutting-edge, environmental sustainability is considered in every purchase and transaction that happens in this paperless office.”
For clients, ‘going green’ means long-term cost-saving and the fact that ‘green’ initiatives are easy to implement and can be actioned on an incremental basis. Hilditch adds, “The truth is that upgrading your environment pays for itself in the long run.”
For leaders such as Tiffany Dunsdon, Group Commercial Director, this is just the beginning of making Adapt IT a good corporate citizen. She sees the implementation of a ‘green’ infrastructure as kick-starting ongoing processes of research and education. Both Dunsdon and Hilditch are proud to point out that the ‘green’ lifestyle encouraged at Adapt IT has filtered through to modified behaviour on the part of the Group’s staff, whether this involves purchasing an energy-efficient laptop or thinking before printing. Dunsdon says, “We definitely walk the talk throughout our business and we like to encourage our employees to do the same in their everyday lives.”
For this eco-smart organisation, a focus on sustainability goes beyond good marketing; it is about an organisation’s core values. ‘Going green’ is also about more than being innovative – it is a long-term commitment from an organisation dedicated to socially responsible behaviour and preserving a sustainable environment.